- Freedom to think and to write freely will be fully strengthened….
- Unnecessary restrictions imposed on the public will be removed…
- Solutions for economic difficulties to ensure freedom of life…
- Development activities to be accelerated in line with new trends in the global economy …..
While preserving the right of every citizen for a secured life, freedom of expression and thinking, we will leave no room for extremist organizations that pave way for terrorism, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.
“I have the vision that I must serve as the leader of the country looking after all citizens rather than serve as a political leader concerned only about a particular community. As the President today, I represent the entire Sri Lankan nation irrespective of ethnicity, religion, party affiliation or other differences”, said President Rajapaksa addressing the nation at the 72ndNational Independence Day celebrations held at the Independence Square today (04).
“There are several domains that need to be maintained in equilibrium for democracy to function properly. Maintaining the balance of power between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary is very important in this regard….We must always remember that citizens have individual as well as collective rights. Coordination between the State and the public is integral to this”, President stated.
Even today, there is a large gap between the haves and have nots in our society. The facilities that are available in our urban centers are lacking in rural areas. Education facilities are not equal in all areas. Healthcare facilities are not equally dispersed. Job opportunities have not spread to all regions. These inequalities are not due to racial or religious reasons. These are common problems that the country faces, President observed.
“If due to terrorists, extremists, thieves, thugs, extortionists, women and child abusers, there is impediment to ordinary life of the people, then the people will not be free”, said the President adding that the government had paid special attention to strengthening the National Security and Public Security.
“My government is always ready to tolerate and accommodate opposing views. The media has complete freedom today. We have ensured that everyone has the right to freely express themselves.”
While highlighting the new challenges that social media can pose President requested everyone to act in accordance with one’s conscience. Always think about the country, he added.
Outdated laws, regulations, taxes and charges that prevent people from freely undertaking self-employment, traditional industries or businesses need to be revised swiftly.We will work towards removing unnecessary restrictions imposed on the public to better ensure their right to live freely.
“An efficient and corruption- free Public Service is essential for the development of a nation. The public administration and governance must function in a proper manner so as to grant people the maximum benefit of their freedom.The entire public administration must accept responsibility for this,” President further said.
The National Independence Day celebrations included several colourful cultural events.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaragunge, Leader of Opposition SajithPremadasa, the Speaker KaruJayasuriya, Ministers, members of Parliament diplomats, Commanders of tri-forces, acting Inspector General of Police, Director General of the Department of Civil Defence, security personnel were among the many dignitaries present.
Prior to leaving the venue, President walked close to the general public gathered there to greet them.